The well-loved classic Battenberg cake just got better with this nut-free version. This chequered afternoon tea favourite uses cornmeal and vanilla instead of the traditional almond, making it the ideal treat for those with allergies.
Heat the oven to gas 4, 180°C, 160°C fan and line the base and sides of a 20cm (8in) square tin with baking parchment. Using a double layer of foil topped with a sheet of baking parchment, make a barrier down the centre of the tin.
Put all the cake ingredients except the food colourings in a large mixing bowl and beat well until smooth. Divide the cake mix into 2 bowls, quickly colouring one with the pink gel and the other with the yellow gel. Spoon the pink mixture onto one side of the tin and the yellow onto the other. Spread the mixtures out evenly and bake for 25–30 minutes, until golden and a skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then remove to a rack until completely cool.
Once the cakes are cool cut them in half lengthways to make 2 long pieces and trim the edges to make them straight.
Roll out a quarter of the nut-free marzipan to about 20cm x 10cm (8in x 10in) on a work surface well dusted with sifted icing sugar. Brush with the raspberry jam, then place on one length of pink cake, and one length of yellow cake. Brush the cake all over with the jam, then pop the remaining 2 pieces of cake on top, again brushing with jam, to make a chequerboard pattern.
Roll out the rest of the nut-free marzipan to a rectangle roughly 20 x 25cm (8in x 10in) and brush with the rest of the jam. Using the rolling pin, lift the marzipan over the cake.
Very gently smooth it over the top and sides, pressing down at the edges to seal.
Trim the edges and patch any cracks with leftover bits of the nut free marzipan. You could pop the cake in the fridge to firm up if you're not tucking in straight away.